Building Jobs that are exempt from a Building Consent

Exempt Building Works … those that do not require a Building Consent.

Schedule 1 Part 1 of the Building Act 2004 & Building Amendment Act 2013 allows for a variety building works to be undertaken without a Building Consent, but like all things there are some restrictions on what and how you can do things.

So, before you charge on in and start building that new carport or closing in the patio, give your local Council a call and ask to speak to the Duty Building Consent Officer and ask … it will save some heartache at the other end … and possibly some Councils have the discretionary power to enlarge the size of the project, an example of this is in Nelson, if you want to enclose a patio or veranda to form … say a conservatory, under the exemption it can be an area not exceeding 5 m², but Nelson permits that if you use a “Proprietry Designed” enclosure then it can be a maximum of 15 m²

Underlining this, is the work MUST still meet the Building Code.


Nelson City Council                       03 546 0200

Tasman District Council                 03 543 8400


Areas which are covered (Check the limitations with the Council first)

  1. General repair, maintenance, and replacement. e.g. replacing weatherboards or roofing
  2. Territorial and Regional authority discretionary exemptions.
  3. Single-storey detached buildings not exceeding 10 m² in floor area.
  4. Unoccupied detached buildings.
  5. Tents, marques, and similar lightweight structures. e.g. less than 100 square metres
  6. Pergolas
  7. Repair or Replacement of outbuilding.
  8. Windows and exterior doorways in existing dwellings and outbuildings. Check the limits on this one.
  9. Alteration to an existing entrance or internal doorway to facilitate access for persons with disabilities.
  10. Interior alterations to existing non-residential building. e.g. Needs to be non structural and doesn’t alter fire walls, etc.
  11. Internal walls and doorways in existing building.e.g. Needs to be non structural and doesn’t alter fire walls, etc.
  12. Internal linings and finishes in existing dwelling. e.g. Needs to be non structural and doesn’t alter fire walls, etc.
  13. Thermal Insulation. Except where it is in an exterior or firewall
  14. Penetrations
  15. Closing in existing veranda or patio. Less than 5 square metres but check with the Council than can approve more
  16. Awnings. Less than 20 square metres.
  17. Porches and verandas. Less than 20 square metres.
  18. Carports. Less than 20 square metres but check with the Council than can approve more
  19. Shade sails. Less than 50 square metres and more than 1 metre from your boundary.
  20. Retaining walls. Lower than 1.5 metres and the area above is not weight bearing e.g. car parking.
  21. Fences and hoardings. Less than 2.5 metres in height plus other limits.
  22. Dams (excluding large dams).
  23. Tanks and pools (excluding swimming pools).
  24. Decks, platforms, bridges, boardwalks, etc.
  25. Signs
  26. Height-restrictions gantries.
  27. Temporary storage stacks.
  28. Private household playground equipment.
  29. Certain structures owned or controlled by network utility operators or other similar organisations.
  30. Demolition of detached building.
  31. Removal of building element.

Remember the following:

  • each of these sections have limitations either call the Council or myself (0274 572 285) for a chat about what you would like to do.
  • If plumbing is involved you WILL require a Consent
  • ALL building work must meet the building code
  • It must also meet the requirements of the Regional Management Plan otherwise a Resource Consent will need to be applied for.

Record keeping … whether your have a tradesman complete the work or yourself, create a record of before and after, what was carried and by whom, what materials were used. This should be done by lodging the “Exempt Works Notification” (costs $100.00 at 23/8/2018) to be placed on the Property File held by the Council. Again, this is about avoiding headaches and delays when you eventually sell the property.


If you have any questions, please get in contact to confidentiality discuss … call Brett 0274 572 285 or email 


In our next blog we look at Owner-Builder Exemptions which for those wanting to physically build their own home without a builder.



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